Huda F Cares

Dial. Oct. 2023. 208p. pap. $16.99. ISBN 9780593532805.
Gr 6-10–Huda and her sisters are excited about their upcoming trip to Florida. They’ll endure the 24-hour car ride from their home in Dearborn, MI, knowing Disney World is on the other end. Leaving home, where they are part of a large and visibly observant Muslim community, means they’ll now be in a far different place. Seeing people drink beer or show affection in public is a new and awkward experience. Huda and her sisters are subjected to stares and rude questions. Regardless, they deal with the discomfort and understand their right to practice their religion, including praying in public. The sisters enjoy exploring everything Disney World has to offer. Huda makes some questionable decisions while navigating this unfamiliar environment; one leads to a scary situation. Although it’s a fun trip overall, Huda questions why their parents would bring them to a place where so much of what goes against their beliefs is on display. Huda gets her answers and learns more about her family in the process. This follow-up to Huda F Are You?? is a delightful story, even when addressing difficult issues. Picturing a tiny “Thoughtful Huda” and “Selfish Huda” on Huda’s shoulders as she wrestles with decisions is one way the creator employs humor in both narrative and art without lessening the impact of what the girls face.
VERDICT This strong addition to any collection wraps messages about stepping into new experiences while staying true to yourself within a funny, enjoyable story.

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